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Which of course is a Billy Bragg song …

I was due to spend mine with my first love …. music but at the last minute my current collaborator Doc Satori pulled out of a recording / composing session with a bad cold.  So I spent it with a love / hate partner, my trusty (except when it isn’t) computer!

The first blog gave some of the origins of No Prima Donnas and the history behind my long and chequered musical career – probably so called because it has careered from one anti-climax to another! 

Not that I ain’t proud of what I’ve done or haven’t done some fine work in my time.  Just that it wasn’t the giddy heights that I had perhaps dreamed of at 17.  Not yet in any case.

So I have read the wordpress guidelines on how to make a compelling blog and I got some comments and likes for my first blog (thanks guys) including some from people not previously known to me which took me to some interesting blogs and people.  All quite fascinating.  Why has it taken me so long to immerse myself in this world?

Anyway my tight focus is that I am going to spend a lot of time rambling about music and in particular my music.  Well they do say art imitates real life!

So a little bit more history and a little bit more news.  I have just sent out a newletter (please comment here or email if you’d like to be included on that) so I am not simply going to retread the news there. 

Last time I wrote about the producer course that I was gatecrashing – well I have now been officially accepted onto it just in time for it to be half-term and so not running this week.  My first legit week of course I was late.  Not nearly so interesting now 🙂  Actually not true I have managed to start a third track for collaboration with my buddy the good Doctor.  He has taken away a 2 minute loop to think of some words and a hook (he’s hearing voices …) suppose that’ll come back as a Doctor hook (Ha,ha,ha,ha).  One track nears completion and another not far behind.  Some scribbled ideas exist for at least 3 more.

Actually I have never known a time when I was feeling so creative.  It is quite incredible.  It’s not that they’re all necessarily brilliant ideas but the quantity and rapid nature is something magical and unknown for me.  I feel slightly sick with the weight of it as I can’t get the ideas out quickly enough and don’t want to lose them.  So in addition to the above I have started two new songs this week, one nearing completion.  One of which is about Valentines day … which possibly means I will have to wait a whole year to play it!  (Some chance).

There has been almost no time to spend on music this week so far and I am looking forward to the weekend when I have promised myself some music time (playing as a opposed to promoting).  I was supposed to be visiting the studio of another friend in Wales this week but that got postponed due to the bad weather last week … (uh? yes I know I didn’t understand it either) and a meeting with someone who might help another new venture (a songwriters co-operative – more about that another time) was cancelled – we were meeting at an open mic.  So this week so far I haven’t picked up an instrument other than to program some beats for one of my new songs.  In between I have trashed my phone (twice) meaning my carefully programmed cyber life that was all collecting on a handheld device has also gone west.  I have had to drive to London in pursuit of money (damn the stuff!) and I have burst a tyre in a country lane going to other gainful employment.

There should be something simple, pure and unsullied about a muscian’s life and his/her art (apart from the sex and drugs) yet somehow it seems immensely complex to find the work to get the money to support the music to live the dream to satisfy my soul.

Yet I am now doing at least some of the time what I have dreamed about all my life.  Being a musician.  I play gigs on my own or with a piano / keyboard / guitar player known affectionately as The Ant who has been a source of huge support over the last few years.  We bicker like brothers on stage and occasionally irritate the hell out of each other but love each other to bits.  It all sort of works.  We have managed to secure a few dates through a hard working local promoter including some that have a little bit of money attached to them.  The studio is set up again in my front room and ready to use whenever I have time to plug in.  So this is what I have dreamed about and have made happen and yet …. the name of the song I started today is ‘Another Valentines On My Own’ – a sort of tongue in cheek big band parody of a love song … who am I trying to convince!?

Whatever it is it’s a long way from the office job I left behind (I earn my money mostly as a counsellor / hypnotherapist / coach – which I love also) and from the little blonde boy who started his first band at junior school so many years ago at the age of nine.  We used to practice in the lunch hour and played once or twice to the school assembly.  I played violin (I was also in the local youth orchestra).  Along side a piano, recorder, acoustic guitar.  We all sang.  Our set list?

  • Black Night
  • Grandad
  • Only Love Will Break Your Heart

At least that’s all I can remember …. still play some Neil Young to this day.

Ant is on his way.  He’ll be late.  But by hell it’ll be fine.  First gigs in this little run Sunday / Monday so time to polish up those tunes.

Love on xx


Hi my name is Q and this is my music blog.

The title of this first blog is to acknowledge the contribution of my great friend Michael Adrian to things that are musical in my life.  It was him who invited me back into the musical world in the early 2000’s and via our collaboration as No Prima Donnas with various other fine folk, some of whom I still play with today helped me to recover this important part of my life.

Mike, when he is working, is a prolific and talented songwriter.  We got together to perform at a work’s summer party and somewhere in the process acquired the No Prima Donnas tag (I think it was me who coined the phrase, he thinks it was our MD at the time Dave Roberts) whoever it was said about our sales team being thought of by some as a bunch of prima donnas …. Mike then went camping for a week and whilst there wrote the song from which this phrase is lifted.  It is available on his album but I think our version is better ….

So this is going to be a bit of rambling, a bit of news about my musical exploits and collaborations and the promotions I do as Jumping Joint and more details on some of the stuff I post on Facebook and Twitter.

Tonight I am going to be gatecrashing for the second week running the Producer Uncovered session at the Colston Hall.  It’s a course about producing music and will be the first formal qualification in music I have got since piano grade two at the age of about 13.  I remember I had a crush on the piano teacher’s teenage daughter – Rosemary Allen where are you now?

Gatecrashing because I thought I wasn’t going to be able to go due to seeing a client at that time on a Tuesday and then they stopped coming …. so I phoned up on the first day of the course and no-one was quite sure if it was full so I turned up anyway and got a computer and didn’t get thrown out.  Next day I phoned up and they said they’d let me know if enough people had dropped out to join in.  So far no word so I shall go along. 

A few good gig experience over the last few days but for today this is enough …

Love on xx